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CDC Recommends Shingles Vaccine

May 3rd, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Despite CDC Recommendation, Many Adults Still Refusing Shingles Vaccine

Shingles is an extremely common—and painful—viral infection, affecting 1 out of every 3 Americans at some point in their life. It’s caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, so anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. While scientists are unsure what causes the virus to awaken at a later date, they do know that the only way to reduce the risk of getting shingles is to get vaccinated. 

Recommended Shingles Vaccine

The CDC recommends that adults use a new vaccine called Shingrix instead of Zostavax, which had been the recommended vaccine from 2006-2017. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common shingles complication. In studies, two doses of Shingrix were found to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and PHN.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of Shingrix, two to six months apart. People who have had shingles in the past, have received the Zostavax vaccine or are unsure if they have had chickenpox should also receive the Shingrix vaccine, according to CDC recommendations.

To find doctor’s offices or pharmacies near you that offer the vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

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Signs of a Kidney Stone

April 5th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

A recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal found that the prevalence of kidney stones has increased more than fourfold in women and more than twofold in men over the past 30 years.

If treated in a timely fashion, kidney stones usually don’t cause permanent damage. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain so severe that you can’t sit still or find a comfortable position
     
  • Pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever or chills
     
  • Blood in your urine
     
  • Difficulty passing urine
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Eating Healthy ? Expensive

March 2nd, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

 

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

 

Eating a well-balanced diet is a key component in living a long, healthy life. Many Americans think that eating healthy means they have to empty their wallets, which isn’t necessarily the truth. Keep the following money-saving tips in mind next time you’re grocery shopping:

  1. Make a weekly meal plan. Before you go to the store, think about what meals and snacks you want for the week. Read recipes thoroughly so you can make an accurate list of everything you need, reducing the risk that you’ll have to run back to the store later in the week.
     
  2. Create a list—and stick to it. Make a detailed list of what you need to buy before you go to the store. When you get to the store, don’t buy anything besides what’s on the list.
     
  3. Plan where you’re going to shop. Many grocery stores run sales or offer coupons on various healthy foods. Check out the ads and plan your grocery list around what’s on sale.
     
  4. Shop seasonally. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive. Click here for a list of what’s in season.
     
  5. Cook at home as often as possible. Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Go back to the basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.
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Conditions That Can Cause Cancer

February 2nd, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

2 Chronic Conditions That Can Cause Cancer

New research suggests that nearly 6 percent of cancers (792,600 cancer cases) can be at least partly attributed to obesity and diabetes. The study, which was published online on The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology website, states that diabetes and a high body mass index (greater than 25) are both associated with a higher risk of certain cancers and are increasing in prevalence.

Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes and obesity can be prevented with proper lifestyle changes, which include the following:

  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet and limiting your intake of unhealthy foods
  • Managing your stress
  • Regularly checking your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Visiting your doctor for routine preventive care

Implementing the above prevention tips can help you remain healthy and avoid developing chronic conditions like obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which, in turn, can help lower your risk of certain cancers. For more information, please review the full-text version of the study.

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Winter Sports Safety Tips

January 4th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

The cold, crisp air and breathtaking views are just a few of the simple joys associated with winter sports. To ensure that your skiing or snowboarding excursions remain safe, be sure to keep in mind the following five tips:

  1. Inspect your skiing or snowboarding equipment to ensure that it is in good working condition.
     
  2. Wear protective headgear, such as a helmet and snow goggles.
     
  3. Yield to skiers or snowboarders in front of or below you on the slope.
     
  4. Carry a fully charged cellphone with you at all times.
     
  5. Never drink alcohol while skiing or snowboarding.
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Stress-free Holiday Season

November 9th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Start Planning Today for a Stress-free Holiday Season


While the holiday season brings joy and togetherness, it can also bring stress for many individuals and families. Top holiday stressors include staying on a budget, managing multiple commitments and finding the perfect gift. Fortunately, by getting organized and planning out what you can ahead of time, you can help reduce your holiday stress.

  • Write down any known commitments. Does your child’s school have a holiday concert? Are you planning on hosting a holiday dinner? Making a list of your commitments will help you plan your time and help you avoid double-booking yourself.
     
  • Create your budget now. If you’re stressed about how your holiday spending will impact you after the holidays are over, you’re not alone. Remember, the sentiment of a gift is much more important than the cost. Set a realistic budget and do not go over it.
     
  • Start shopping early. Do you already know what you want to get some people on your list? Don’t be afraid to shop early. Sometimes, you can get great deals on presents even before the holiday season hits. Moreover, you can avoid the scenario of not being able to get the gift you want because it’s sold out.

Though these tips won’t prevent all of the holiday stress you may experience, they can definitely can help reduce it. If you experience high holiday stress, try these coping mechanisms to get your stress under control.

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10 Easy Halloween Safety Tips

October 3rd, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Halloween should be an exciting time of year for children and their parents, but too often the celebration devolves into tragedy. This season, make safety the top priority for your family.

Best Practices for Parents

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled a list of Halloween best practices. Follow these tips to keep your family safe.

  1. Always accompany young children when trick-or-treating.
  2. Watch for motorists and cross alleys carefully.
  3. Only visit houses that are well-lit when trick-or-treating.
  4. Use reflective tape or other light-up devices to increase your child’s nighttime visibility, especially when wearing dark costumes.
  5. Do not let children eat strangers’ homemade treats.
  6. Avoid candles and open flames, especially when in costume.
  7. Keep costume accessories soft and flexible (for example, swords or knives).
  8. Examine your children’s treats for choking hazards or tampering before they eat.
  9. Remove any costume makeup before bed to avoid skin and eye irritation.
  10. Make sure costumes and accessories do not impair visibility or inhibit movement.
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National Preparedness Month

September 7th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Since 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the national Ready Campaign have promoted National Preparedness Month (NPM) every September. NPM encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies and strives to increase the overall number of people, families and communities that engage in preparedness actions.

The most recent data from the Red Cross, though, reveals that despite 8 out of 10 Americans feeling unprepared for a catastrophic event, only 1 in 10 has taken the following appropriate preparedness steps:

  • Create a family emergency plan.
  • Stock an emergency supply and first-aid kit.
  • Train in basic first aid.

Remember, you can’t plan when a disaster will occur, but you can plan ahead to be prepared if and when a disaster does strike. This September, take time to learn more about NPM and take the suggested steps to become properly prepared. For more information, please visit the NPM website.

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Prevent Heat Illness

August 10th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

There were 7,415 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These preventable deaths illustrate how important preparation is during extreme temperatures. Whether you are swimming at the beach or lounging in the park, you should be prepared for extreme heat conditions.

Stay Prepared

The CDC provides three easy steps to prevent heat-related illnesses: stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed. This summer, make sure you have shade wherever you are going and have attire, like a sun hat or a thin, long-sleeved shirt, to avoid direct contact with the sun. Be sure to drink lots of water—more than you usually do. Your body quickly loses fluids in the summer more quickly, which can lead to illness. Finally, stay informed by monitoring the local weather forecast and prepare accordingly for outdoor activities.

Know the Signs

The two most dangerous heat-related illnesses, besides dehydration, are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is exhibited through cold, clammy skin, heavy sweating and nausea. If you or someone shows these symptoms, move to a cooler location and sip water. If you or someone has a rapid pulse, hot and red skin, and loses consciousness, this could mean heat stroke, and you should call 911 immediately. In this latter scenario, do not give fluids to the person showing the symptoms. Do, however, move them to a cooler location and lower their temperature with cool cloths.

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